The world's largest hotel company, Marriott International, inked a deal with developers for a new $600 million headquarters and flagship hotel in downtown Bethesda, MD, according to the Washington Business Journal. Completion is scheduled for 2022.
Boston Properties and The Bernstein Companies will develop a 22-story, 700,000-square-foot office building for Marriott, as well as a 230-room hotel next door. The hotel company announced in January its intent to move forward with the developers, but the deal was stalled by delays including the finalization of a city zoning plan allowing the construction of taller buildings.
Marriott eased the fears of city, county and state officials when it revealed last October that it would keep its operations in the area rather than move to nearby Washington, DC, or Virginia. The company will receive $22 million in incentives in exchange for keeping its investment in the project at $600 million minimum and employing at least 3,500 people.
The U.S. hotel industry should continue to grow through 2017, albeit at a modest pace, according to a Zach Equity Research report. While a healthy domestic economy is driving demand, major hoteliers are expanding internationally as well, particularly in China, a big market for Marriott. Growth opportunities in the U.S. include Nashville, TN, New York City, Seattle and Denver, JLL reported.
To help fuel their expansions, such companies are using social media, loyalty programs and even revamping their brands. Marriott has also embraced emerging construction methods like modular offsite building.
The company announced in May that it would aim to use modular construction on about 13% of its North American hotel projects this year. That means roughly 50 hotel deals will include some element of modular building, be it whole units or just bathrooms.
The company has already opened one modular hotel in California, which was finished two months ahead of schedule. Marriott has other modular projects in progress, including a Courtyard in Washington and an AC Hotel in Oklahoma.